TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash on Olson Place

October 26th, 2016 at 4:15 pm Posted in safety, west seattle, White Center news | No Comments »

Thanks to everyone who has been updating us on this crash on Olson Place, east of Roxbury. No injuries, apparently, as Seattle Fire has not been dispatched, but most recently, we are told, it is blocking one lane each way.

The vehicle that spun out is reported to have hit a tree.

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SURVEY: The Coalition for Drug-Free Youth needs a few minutes of your time

October 26th, 2016 at 12:18 am Posted in Health, Online, White Center news | No Comments »

Can you spare a few minutes? If you’re 18 or older, this survey is for you:

The Coalition for Drug-Free Youth – a community-based alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention organization – is conducting a short community survey. This survey asks about one’s perceptions of drug and alcohol use and abuse in youth and in the community. The data from these surveys will be used to implement evidence-based prevention programs in middle and high schools in the community.

Adults ages 18 and over, who live, work or frequent the North Highline and Burien areas are eligible to take this survey. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey!

Survey link (English):

Survey link (Español)

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1 year after White Center pond cooking-oil spill, La Mexicana tells state it will cover $333,729 cleanup bill

October 24th, 2016 at 4:24 pm Posted in Environment, White Center news | No Comments »

(Canada goose captured for cleanup – WCN photo from November 2015)

The company responsible for the cooking-oil spill in a White Center pond last year (13th SW/SW 100th) says it will cover the third-of-a-million-dollar cleanup cost, much of which went toward rescuing more than 50 birds. That’s according to this update from the state Department of Ecology:

A White Center food manufacturing company, La Mexicana, has agreed to repay the state for its efforts to clean up vegetable oil that spilled into a White Center pond last year. The company has also committed to fund a local environmental restoration project.

The Washington Department of Ecology, other agencies and contractors spent weeks cleaning up the vegetable oil, and catching and cleaning more than 80 oiled birds in November and December 2015. The response efforts and cleanup work totaled $333,729, and about $250,000 of this amount was dedicated to wildlife response. La Mexicana said it will pay for the bill.

La Mexicana voluntarily accepted responsibility after realizing the spill had occurred at its White Center facility.

The spill happened on Oct. 30, 2015, when a 200 gallon container of cooking oil accidentally tipped over and spilled an estimated 175 gallons into a storm drain. That storm drain emptied into the White Center pond a few blocks away.

“La Mexicana became an involved response partner as soon as they realized the oil in the pond and the impacted wildlife were a result of the spill at their facility,” said David Byers, Ecology’s spill response supervisor.

Since the spill, La Mexicana has purchased spill response equipment, posted instructions and trained employees to contain, clean up and immediately report future spills.

Cooking and other edible oils, while less toxic to wildlife than petroleum products, cause environmental harm. The oil coats birds’ feathers causing them to lose insulation and buoyancy. Oil also damages habitat for other aquatic life by reducing oxygen levels and creating physical impacts on the water surface and shoreline.

“La Mexicana cares deeply about our community and the environment. We are grateful that we were able to partner with the Department of Ecology to restore the pond and the impacted wildlife. La Mexicana has implemented robust programs to ensure the protection of our natural resources, and the continuous improvement of our processes, products, and services,” said William Fry, general manager of La Mexicana.

Along with cost recovery, the state issued a separate $4,813.83 damage assessment to La Mexicana for harm to natural, cultural and publically owned resources. The assessment is based on the amount spilled and the resources placed at risk.

Ecology also fined La Mexicana $2,000 for spilling oil and failing to promptly report the spill. Ecology penalties may be appealed to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

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UPDATE: 26th SW crash sends one to hospital

October 24th, 2016 at 11:59 am Posted in Shorewood, Traffic, White Center news | No Comments »

(White Center Now/West Seattle Blog photo by Patrick Sand)

11:59 AM: Thanks for the tips – 26th SW between White Center/Shorewood and West Seattle is blocked right now by a crash response at the intersection where SW 106th becomes 107th because of the crash in our photo above. Our crew is told 2 vehicles were involved and one person was taken to Harborview. King County’s major crash investigations team is on the way out so this might be closed for a while. Our crew says east-west traffic is being allowed through one lane at a time, but we would advise avoiding the area entirely. We will check back at the scene later; if you see it open again before we update, please let us know, text or voice, 206-293-6302 – thank you!

12:11 PM: Metro has sent a re-route alert because of this – “not serving stop at 26th/106th, use stop at Seola Beach Dr. SW & SW 106th or 26th/SW 100th.”

2:21 PM: The intersection remains fully blocked.

3:53 PM: Metro has just texted/tweeted that the bus stop on 26th SW is open again, which we’ll take as word that the intersection has reopened to all traffic.

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White Center coffee: Moonshot opens in ex-Caffé Delia space

October 22nd, 2016 at 12:23 pm Posted in Beverages, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Thanks to ex-Caffé Delia co-proprietor Matt for the update – their former space in downtown White Center has soft-opened today as Moonshot Coffee. As noted previously, the new owners are also proprietors of Burien Press. Here’s their announcement today:

Thanks to the amazing and talented people at Synesso, our new machine was installed last night. Because of that we’ve made the choice to go ahead and open for a few hours today for a “Please Excuse the Dust Pre Soft Opening” until 1 pm Saturday and from 9 am to 1 pm on Sunday. Additionally, we’re going to donate $1 from every drink sold to the good folks over at the Yes Foundation of White Center. We have a limited menu of coffee from Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. and Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company and some legendary Caffe Delia scones that we’ll serve until they are gone. We’re looking forward to making you coffee and meeting you.

Moonshot is at 9622 16th SW, next to Proletariat Pizza.

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FOLLOWUP: Demolition under way at ex-White Center Chevron, future Starbucks/Popeye’s

October 21st, 2016 at 4:25 pm Posted in Businesses, White Center news | No Comments »

Demolition is well under way at the former White Center Chevron, which closed just two weeks ago to make way for a Starbucks coffee shop and Popeye’s fried-chicken restaurant (we had first word of the project back in June). Thanks to Gill for the tip on teardown starting earlier this week; we went by this afternoon to check on the progress.

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UPDATE: Why King County Sheriff’s Deputies had 17th SW blocked

October 21st, 2016 at 12:18 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 1 Comment »


12:18 PM: Avoid 17th SW at and north of SW 104th. Deputies have it blocked for what they tell us are two separate incidents. At the north end, it’s a suspicious package. At the south end, shots were fired at or in a longtime trouble house. The person who fired them is st large and might be injured, but his whereabouts are unknown. More later.

4 PM: No additional information, but in case you were wondering, the street IS fully clear now.

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White Center food and drink: The Company Store to open this Saturday

October 21st, 2016 at 12:33 am Posted in Beverages, Food, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Almost three months ago, we told you that what had been Company would become The Company Store. And the opening date has finally been announced:

Take a look at what’s happening inside The Co. Store! Don’t worry, we’re opening this SATURDAY THE 22ND @ 5 PM.

In the heart of downtown White Center.

Thank you kindly for your patience!

We cannot wait to welcome you.

Come eat, drink delicious cocktails, and sip ice-cold beer.

Thank you amazing Crystal Barbre for your incredible art that we are so lucky to share with White Center.

We cannot wait to meet you!

The Co. Store
9608 16th Ave. SW

Company Store’s proprietors also note that it’s a 21+ establishment.

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‘November 1st is off’: Latest on the proposed White Center shelter

October 19th, 2016 at 3:30 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | No Comments »

Continuing to follow up on King County’s proposal for an emergency shelter in White Center:

Last time we spoke with Sherry Hamilton from the Department of Housing and Community Services, she wasn’t able to say for sure whether the original November 1st goal of opening a shelter was still a possibility.

But today, she told WCN, the November 1st date is definitely OFF – there is no way they will have a space vetted and ready to open by then.

No new goal date at this point, though Hamilton stresses that there remains a sense of urgency as the fall/winter weather intensifies.

The Department of Permitting and Environmental Review is still looking at the county’s application for a “change of use” at the former Public Health building at 8th/108th, which many community members decry as unsuitable because, among other reasons, it’s close to schools and a park.

But Hamilton stresses that they are interested in other possibilities. She confirmed that a community working group met last night for the first time – we are told that the White Center Community Development Association is involved, among others – and that the county was heartened to hear “a desire to help” people experiencing homelessness. The group, she said, was working on a list of “concerns” as well as discussing other possible spaces.

Still no date for a second community meeting, she added, as she had told us last week.

Meantime, she said that the department plans to update its webpage about the shelter proposal – possibly as soon as the end of today.

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FOUND DOG: Back home!

October 19th, 2016 at 3:02 pm Posted in Pets, White Center news | No Comments »

(Update – this dog is back home now – info removed)

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#BlackLivesMatterAtSchool @ White Center Heights Elementary

October 19th, 2016 at 11:09 am Posted in Education, Schools, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Thanks to Sarah Fox for the photo from White Center Heights Elementary, which is joining in today’s regional #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool solidarity action, as noted here earlier this week.

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First class of new citizens sworn in at new White Center Library

October 18th, 2016 at 3:57 pm Posted in Libraries, People, White Center Library, White Center news | 4 Comments »

(WCN photos)

With the new White Center Library in its first year, it’s seeing a lot of firsts – and this afternoon brought another. It was swearing-in day for the latest quarterly citizenship class held at King County Library System facilities. 17 people were in the class, and 14 were at this afternoon’s ceremony.

Officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services presided, as did executives from KCLS, including, above, system director Gary Wasdin. He pointed out that libraries are a resource for finding out what’s happening in their communities, and that staffers will be able to help the new citizens find out how to register to vote.

Thanks to Gill for the tip about today’s ceremony. We unfortunately didn’t get there in time for the national anthem being sung by 4th graders from nearby Mount View Elementary. Also featured: A video with President Obama, also featuring Aretha Franklin singing “America the Beautiful.”

ADDED WEDNESDAY: We just got the list of countries represented by the new citizens:

South Korea
United Kingdom

Congratulations to all!

ADDED: Two more photos, courtesy of Gill – the first one includes the aforementioned students who sang:

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WEDNESDAY: #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool action planned @ White Center Heights Elementary

October 17th, 2016 at 4:56 pm Posted in Schools, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Received this afternoon:

Upwards of sixty White Center Heights Elementary staff plan to participate in the October 19 #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool action by wearing Black Lives Matter shirts to school “to address institutionalized racism in our schools and offer a space for dialogue among school staff.”

The action, which is taking place in schools across Seattle, demonstrates that educators across the city stand together with the community of John Muir Elementary, which received racist threats in response to their planned Black Men United to Change the Narrative event last month.

White Center Heights staff members are hoping to spark a larger conversation in our classrooms, across our community and the Highline School District at large.

Any other local schools participating? Please let us know!

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TONIGHT: North Highline Fire District public hearing

October 17th, 2016 at 12:40 am Posted in North Highline Fire District, White Center news | No Comments »

From the North Highline Fire District, a public hearing happening tonight (Monday, October 17th):


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the North Highline Fire District Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing to:

Review revenue sources for the District’s 2017 expense budget including property taxes and possible increases in property tax revenues per RCW 84.55.120, and

Review and establish the Fire District’s benefit charge to be imposed in 2017, per RCW 52.18.060(2).

Fire Station 18
1243 SW 112th Street
Seattle, WA 98146
October 17, 2016 at 7 pm

The benefit charge is explained on the NHFD website.

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Next Saturday, Duwamish Alive! needs you to help our area’s only river

October 16th, 2016 at 3:07 pm Posted in Environment, How to Help, White Center news | No Comments »

Next Saturday, it’s one of the two dates each year when hundreds of people volunteer to help our area’s only river, during the multi-work-party Duwamish Alive! event. Here’s how and where you can help:

Join our community effort to restore native habitat within the Duwamish Watershed on Saturday, October 22nd, while celebrating the connection of our urban forests to our river and salmon. Starting at 10:00 am volunteers will gear up at multiple Duwamish sites including one of our largest urban forests – the Duwamish Greenbelt to participate in planting and removing invasive weeds in an effort to keep our river alive and healthy for our communities, salmon and the Puget Sound. Volunteers are still needed at:

Pigeon Point Park
Roxhill Bog Park, headwaters of Longfellow Creek
Delridge Wetlands, tributary of Longfellow Creek
Longfellow Creek at Greg Davis Park
Hamm Creek/Duwamish Substation along the river
Herrings House Park, along the river

To volunteer, visit to see the different volunteer opportunities and RSVP to the contact for the site of your choice, or email

Other work sites include a river cleanup by kayak, shoreline salmon habitat restoration, and native forest revitalization while enjoying our autumn. Families, company groups, clubs, individuals, schools, community organizations, are encouraged to participate, and no experience is necessary.

The workday at all 15 sites begins at 9:30 with volunteer sign in and concludes at 2 PM. Refreshments, tools, and instructions will be provided. All ages and abilities welcomed.

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UPDATE: 3,700+ lose power in Top Hat, parts of Burien

October 14th, 2016 at 2:29 am Posted in utilities, Weather, White Center news | Comments Off on UPDATE: 3,700+ lose power in Top Hat, parts of Burien

Though the wind still hasn’t revved up that much, the power went out at 1:49 am for 3,783 customers (homes/businesses), mostly in Burien but also stretching into part of North Highline, particularly Top Hat. City Light’s map has yet to pinpoint what caused it; the guesstimate for restoration is currently 8 am.

4:15 AM: Outage over, per SCL map.

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER? Where the proposal stands, where your County Councilmember stands, and an ‘open letter’

October 12th, 2016 at 3:09 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | 10 Comments »

(King County photo)

Two inquiries we’ve had out since the end of last week, both related to the proposed 70-bed shelter in the former Public Health building at 10821 8th SW, have been answered today:

WHERE THE PROPOSAL STANDS: Tomorrow marks four weeks since the only public meeting (WCN coverage here) held on the idea so far. We reported earlier this week that online files show the county applied for a change-of-use permit for the building less than two weeks later, on September 28th. County Housing division spokesperson Sherry Hamilton confirmed that in a phone conversation today, responding to our Friday request for an update: “We are in the process now with the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review, to take a look at the building and see if it’s viable … we don’t know how long it will take. While we’re doing that, we’re also continuing to look at any other possibilities – we told the community we were open to suggestions, and we also asked Facilities to see if there are any (county-owned) buildings we missed.”

Is a November 1st move-in still a possibility? Hamilton said she couldn’t entirely rule it out but “there’s no permit” and the permit process also is what will provide “information on what it would take” to use the building as a shelter.

So when will the promised second community meeting be scheduled? Hamilton replied that “it would be premature” to schedule one before they know what the building needs to be safe for occupancy, so there would be no point in “bringing the community back together now … we don’t know what to tell them yet.”

The county has a webpage about the proposal but as far as we can tell from daily checks, has not added anything new in more than three weeks.

COUNTY COUNCILMEMBER JOE McDERMOTT: We e-mailed our area’s county councilmember Joe McDermott – who is also the chair of the council – to ask where he stands on the proposal, as we had not heard or seen him address it yet. He replied today via e-mail, saying he’s “supportive” of it, with context regarding why. Here’s his response in its entirety:

Eleven months ago, I stood with Executive Constantine and Mayor Murray as we declared a State of Emergency on Homelessness. Homelessness affects youth and adults across the region, and continues to be a growing problem. From 2014 to 2015, the number of unsheltered people increased by 21%. From 2015 to 2016, that figure rose to 4,505, an additional 19% increase. Likewise, the number of people who were homeless (including unsheltered, and people in transitional housing, shelters, and unhoused) increased to 10,688 in 2016. Clearly with over 10,000 people homeless in our community we need to do more.

I am committed to making meaningful progress on homelessness. An important way to achieve progress is to find more places where people can move out of the cold, and to a warm place where they can begin their journey to permanent housing.

I am also committed to ensuring that public resources are put to their best and optimal use. Standing empty, county owned buildings do the exact opposite. A temporary shelter that provides enhanced services – like connections to housing, employment, and health care – will make a difference and address need among people living in the community. Addressing homelessness not only benefits the people who are experiencing homelessness, it makes our communities stronger, healthier, and more connected.

White Center deserves to have resources that strengthen the community and meets the needs of residents – both those who are currently homeless, and those who are housed. I am supportive of efforts to bring services and shelter to people who are experiencing homelessness, who are already living across the county and in every community including White Center.

With the county’s former Public Health Clinic building vacant in White Center, the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) proposes to use the building as a shelter for people experiencing homelessness.

As DCHS assesses community feedback after its meeting last month and has further conversation with the community, I am certainly hearing from members of the community about their reactions.
The concerns voiced to me include public notice, site location, and the population of people who may receive services. DCHS is actively working now to respond to these issues with a group of residents. I look forward to their successful work, as we must also acknowledge that we have problem today – and that every day that we delay is another that a person is needlessly living unsheltered.

I am particularly aware that this proposal gives some concern about children and their safety. This troubles me, as it seems to promote a stigma that people who are homeless are more likely to in some way harm children. As a gay man, I am a member of a community about whom similar stigmas exist and I find this concern troubling. And it appears to overlook that, sheltered or not, there are people who are homeless in White Center now. That being said, I know that DCHS is looking for ways to relieve some of the community’s concerns. I encourage that work.

People experiencing homelessness come from across the county and in fact are currently living across the county. There are people who are homeless in White Center today. Surely people are more stable, healthier, better able to connect to employment and education, and able to secure housing more successfully when they have some form of shelter, rather than sleeping in our neighborhoods. Providing shelter provides some improved stability for all.

I am supportive of DCHS’s continuing work to use the former Public Health Clinic in White Center as a shelter and look forward to the updated proposal that will address community concerns when it is presented. Let’s see the proposal after further work and continue our dialogue. We all have a responsibility to address this emergency.

ADDED 7:51 PM: We have since received an “open letter” from Adrienne Quinn, who is director of the department responsible for the project:

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TONIGHT: Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration for all of Highline

October 12th, 2016 at 9:09 am Posted in burien, White Center news | Comments Off on TONIGHT: Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration for all of Highline

Highline Public Schools invites you to this event tonight:

The whole community is warmly invited to a fun, family friendly, community-wide event – the Indigenous Peoples Celebration at the Highline Performing Arts Center. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending the celebration happening Wednesday, October 12th from 6:00 -7:30 PM at the Highline Performing Arts Center at 401 S 152nd St in Burien. Dinner will be served from 5 – 6 PM in the Highline High School Cafeteria at 225 South 152nd Street in Burien. The Highline Indigenous Peoples Celebration is designed to inspire, celebrate, engage, and empower the American Indian/Alaska Native community in Highline and welcome for all to attend.

If you have any questions please direct them to Native Education Program Manager Sara Marie Ortiz at 206.631.3162 or We hope to see you at the event!

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FOLLOWUP: Sale pending for former White Center Dairy Queen

October 10th, 2016 at 5:38 pm Posted in Businesses, White Center news | Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Sale pending for former White Center Dairy Queen

Five months after the abrupt closure of the White Center Dairy Queen, the site appears to be on the verge of being sold. That’s according to the online listing for the building at 10256 16th SW, now marked “pending.” The third-of-an-acre site has been listed at $1,185,000, with this pitch:

Former Dairy Queen in Seattle’s next major development neighborhood. Large vacant restaurant building on corner lot accessible from three streets. Indoor/outdoor seating, drive-thru window, walk-in cooler and freezer, and a 28-space parking lot. Zoned CBSO with lots of possibilities.

A DQ spokesperson had told WCN in June that the formerly franchised location would not reopen as part of their chain.

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER? Permit application under review

October 10th, 2016 at 3:41 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | 5 Comments »

Three and a half weeks after the tumultuous public meeting regarding the proposed “emergency shelter” at 10821 8th SW, the county has yet to announce a date for its promised second community meeting. Our inquiries following the discussion at last Thursday’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting have not yet been answered – we have inquiries out both to the department responsible for the project, and also to King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents this area.

But online records confirm that the county has applied for a permit “to make life safety improvements to operate a temporary emergency overnight shelter” at the ex-Public Health building. The county website shows the intake date as September 28th, less than two weeks after the hearing.

Side note: While reviewing King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s proposed county budget, we also noted that in the full 753-page budget document, page 84 mentions a budget transfer to support “custodial services” in 2017 and 2018 “in White Center for 50 beds per night” and also for the same number of beds in the Administration Building downtown.

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